Arizona Coyotes plan to privately finance new arena, entertainment district, team president/CEO says

Now that the Arizona Coyotes have reached an agreement with the Tempe City Council to continue negotiations on a new arena and entertainment district in the Phoenix suburb, their team president and CEO, Xavier A. Gutierrez, says the next challenge is to clear up misconceptions about what is in the works — and how the team plans to pay for it.

“The biggest [hurdle] honestly is to have people understand the project,” Gutierrez told ESPN on Wednesday. “There was a transparency clause that really prohibited us from speaking publicly [before a June 2 hearing]. We’ve been under wraps for so many months, and so now we’re getting people comfortable. We’re saying, ‘We’re going to pay for all of this.’ And we have [been met with] some skepticism about that, but that truly is what we’re proposing.”

Coyotes brass pitched its $1.7 billion project to the Tempe City Council in a marathon eight-hour session that included comments from more than 100 citizens and the inclusion of over 220 written statements before a 5-2 vote in the team’s favor.

The Coyotes are looking for more than just an arena and practice facility to become their permanent home. Their bid involves a 46-acre site — currently used as a landfill — that would also include hotels, apartments, retail stores and other outposts Gutierrez insists would be beneficial to the entire community.

But as Gutierrez well knows, there are doubts about the Coyotes’ ability to financially pull this off without help. The team was served with…

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